Some yoga myths are made to be debunked; the info below shows how it’s false stereotypes that keep people from developing their bodies and minds. There’s no denying that yoga is immensely popular, being practiced regularly by millions of people worldwide. However, there are also misconceptions about this particular form of exercise, and some of those may actually be keeping you away from yoga. To clear things up, here are some yoga myths that you may have fallen for.
Yoga is a girl thing
While it’s true that many yoga practitioners today are women, there’s definitely also men that enjoy and benefit from yoga, and traditionally, it was almost exclusively a male activity. What’s important to keep in mind is that yoga is about building mental and physical awareness and balance, which will strengthen your body and can help you relieve stress you may be experiencing in your day-to-day life. Those benefits are obviously not gender-specific!
Flexibility and physical strength are required
Every body is suitable for yoga, no matter how flexible or strong it is. While you will probably become more flexible and strengthen your muscles as a result of regular yoga practice, it is not a prerequisite, because there’s more to it than pretending to be a pretzel. Yoga poses come in all kinds, and for those who are maybe less flexible or less physically strong, there are still many ways to practice yoga and benefit from it — it’s not about being “good” or “bad” at it, anyway, but about knowing what’s healthy for you.
Fitting in with the yoga crowd
There are many stereotypes about the kinds of people that practice yoga, which means that potential new yogis can be reluctant to start, because they might be worried they’ll be rejected by the established crowd, or that being a yogi conflicts with their own beliefs. First of all, yoga is not a religion (it’s actually believed to be older than Hinduism), so following or not following any religion is completely fine. Secondly, yoga is practiced by all kinds of people, and not all yogis are left-wing, vegan hippies and even if they are, they definitely won’t reject you if that’s not your thing!
Yoga is easy
Yoga is as challenging as you’re willing and able to make it. While many believe it’s just about light stretching, different exercises can be a good way to build strength if that’s what you’re looking to achieve. Pushing yourself too far can actually harm your body, so there’s the added challenge of focusing on control and awareness. While it’s often seen as a mild form of exercise, it’s not by definition easy or risk-free.